The Pet Hospital of Madison’s veterinarians will work with you to determine the best pet food options for your pet’s specific species, breed, age, and health condition. With the wide variety of commercial and prescription pet food diets available for purchase, evaluating the options and interpreting nutritional information can be overwhelming. Our doctors and staff have advanced training on the nutritional needs of pets and can help you sort out the excellent options from the less than desirable choices.
Pocket Pet Nutrition
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends high-quality pellets or feed blocks designed for each species of pocket pet commercially. The diet can be supplemented with fresh vegetables and fruits a few times per week, but pet owners should avoid seed mixes. Pocket pets tend to sift through seed mixes and eat only sugary or high fat seeds, leading to malnutrition and issues with obesity.
Some pet conditions require therapeutic nutrition or prescription diets to minimize the symptoms the pet is experiencing and to promote recovery or the acceptable management of the pet’s disease. Some conditions that benefit from veterinary food options include:
- Pet food allergies
- Heart conditions
- Pet diabetes
- Joint pain and mobility issues
- Kidney issues
- Urinary disorders
- Dental conditions
- Skin conditions
- Digestive disorders
Obesity in Pets
Avoiding pet obesity can be challenging, as many pets are food-motivated and providing them with treats and overfeeding are strong temptations. However, obesity in pets can lead to a number of different health issues, including heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Our veterinarians will work with you to establish appropriate quantities for feeding. We recommend you limit treats and consider low-calorie, healthier treat options—dogs can be trained to enjoy celery or even carrots as treats during training sessions.
Some excellent ways to help your pet lose weight and maintain a healthy size include:
- Schedule a veterinary assessment exam and discuss proper weight
- Measure the food portions provided
- Slowly reduce food portions
- Add more whole foods including vegetables for dogs
- Feed smaller portions more frequently
- Provide regular exercise and play times
- Weigh your dog or cat regularly to check for progress
Maintaining healthy weight and providing excellent nutrition will add to your pet’s quality and length of life. The Pet Hospital of Madison will work with you to reach your pet’s healthy nutrition and weight goals.